As I mentioned in my post about Essens Wheat I brewed 5 different beers for Christmas. For the 4th and 5th beers I wanted to play around with yeast a bit more. I had two strains that I wanted to compare, the Dupont Saison strain (White Labs 565) and a strain from the Brewing Science Institute labeled "S-26 Farmhouse Ale".
The plan was to brew one 5 gallon batch of beers and split it into two equal parts. I could then add 565 to one carboy and S-26 to the second. The recipe was very basic...
11 # Malted 2-Row (Rahr)
1 # Malted White Wheat
1/2 # Unmalted Wheat
Mashed at 148 F for 1 hour at a grist to water ratio of 1/3 (pounds)
Sparged with 3.5 gallons of water at 178 F.
First runnings 1.082
Second runnings 1.038
60 minutes 3/4 oz Challenger 8.8%
25 minutes 1 oz German Hallertau 3.3% (2011 crop)
5 minutes 1/2 oz Hallertau 5.5% (2012 crop)
Original Gravity was 1.055 (14 Plato)
Oxygenated with aeration stone
12/12 Moved to Seconday (Both beers at 1.010 (2.5 plato))
12/16 Bottled S-26 portion (1.010) with 40 grams sugar. Moved 565 to keg to force carbonate (gravity still falling and now at 1.008)
As you can see the 565 portion finished a little drier than the farmhouse portion. Now onto a tasting of the two.
1/27 Farmhouse S-26
Aroma: The aroma is a mixture of so many different flavors. There is banana, strawberry, bubble gum, some clove, wheat, yeast, bread, and ripe fruit. Very pleasant.
Taste: The beer starts of sweet, like a wheat beer. The finish is dry but not bitter. The beer tastes mostly of bread and yeast.
Mouthfeel: Medium, and medium in body. Not cloying or silky. Fairly typical.
Overall: I am very pleased with how this beer turned out. The aroma is just wonderful and makes for a very pleasant drinking experience.
Appearance: At first glance the Saison is not near as hazy as the farmhouse ale. The head retention is also not as strong. It does form lace around the glass which the farmhouse did not.
Aroma: The aroma is very different. There is still some bread but the beer is more spicy. Some fruit aromas are present but they are subdued.
Taste: The beer is fairly similar. Sweet to start but with a more bitter finish. The spice of the hops come through better in this version.
Mouthfeel: A little more crisp and refreshing than the farmhouse, maybe due to a lower terminal gravity.
Overall: This is certainly a saison. It is crisp, refreshing, and the hops come through. Still a very tasty beer.